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Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group (Kalamazoo Latviesu Jauniesu Kopa) records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: IHRC1159


Papers (1953-1981) consist of 6 albums with photos, newspaper clippings, invitation cards to Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group organized events, box of photos, newspapers, copies of newspapers, magazines, books, anti-Soviet propaganda sheets/brochures, research, reports, member lists, questionnaires, financial records, correspondence, printed materials.

Papers mostly contain information about Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group activiites during the late 1950s, beginning of 1960s, and the late 1970s. Collection consists of 6 albums which contain clippings from newspapers, mostly "Laiks" (195A- 1965 and 1970s), and various other periodicals. Articles are related to youth problems, youth organised events, youth organizations, and Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group work and activities. Albums contain photos from different activities of the Group (1955-1958). Some books are also included in those papers: "Atstari" (dedicated to middle U.S.A liviing Latvian Youth get-togethers in Grand Rapids in 1956) and "Koru dziesmu krajums" (Choir Song Collection, 1973). There is also a guest book with inscriptions from different people August 31,1957 and Indianapolis Latvian Song Festival 1960. Anti Soviet propaganda sheets/brochures also included: "Censorship and non-delivery of personal letters in the USSR" (1978) by Iosef Gurvich, "The Soviet Union--Land of Tourism"(1978), and "The USSR National Exibition"(1979). There is also a copy of a research paper "Hallow Glory--Baltic Athletes on Soviet Olympic Teams 1952-1976" (1979) by G.GubinsPapers comprises also a list of members of Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group (1954, 1955, 1957) as well as some questionnaires for young members of the Group and various financial materials. There are also 4 folders of correspondence of the Group with different youth organisations and individuals (1953- 1959). The collection contains also some printed materials (June 25 to July 5, 1959) of Latvian Youth Festival (Latviesu Jaunatnes Svetki).


  • Creation: 1953-1981


Language of Materials

Latvian, English


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


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The Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group was founded on October 7, 1950 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It was initially called Kalamazoo Latviesu Jaunatnes Pulcins (Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Society) and had 30 members. It was the only Baltic youth group in Kalamazoo. The number of members increased, and according to ALA'S (American Latvian Association) annual questionnaire, there were 80 members of average age 20 in the Group in 1956. The activities of the Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group were organized in various sections: literature, sport, drama, shooting, folk dance. The most popular were the sport sub-group called "Imanta" and the drama section. The Group issued their own newsletter, covering 110 copies, published every 6-8 weeks. The Kalamazo Latvian Youth Group organized and took part in Latvian culture exibitions, Latvian Quiz Competitions, sport events, theatre performances, get-togethers, and ALJA ( American Latvian Youth Association) congresses. The year 1964 was one of the Group's most active years. Together with ALA, under leadership of Valdis Muiznieks, the Group organized six-weeks-long youth courses for all Latvian youth living in the U.S. This was innovative because all the courses before had usually lasted one or two weeks. Courses were held every weekend in Kalamazoo as well as in Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Chicago in order to get more youth interested in Latvian culture. Course participiants could join various activities such as: research paper presentations, discussions, singing, dancing and learning about Latvian history, literature, art, theatre, music, etc. The Group's first chairmen were: Purins (1950-1955(?)), Rungis, Biekens, Aldonis Mezseta, Mara Kaugura (1957/1958), Juta Grinberga (1958/1959), and Klenbergs. One of the last chairperson was Bitite Vinklers. It is likely that the Kalamazoo Latvian Youth Group ended its activities in the 1980s.


2 Linear Feet


Collection acquired in 1995, it was processed by Baiba Zukauska in 2005.

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